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Internet companies legislating morality?

Think Christianly: Internet companies legislating morality?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Internet companies legislating morality?

An article came out today "Internet companies to block child porn sites," that raises a good question and illustrates an even better point. (for the record I think it is great that they are doing what they can to protect kids from porn and exploitation, and more of it needs to happen). Are they "pushing their morality" on the rest of us???

First, the point. Legislating morality is impossible to avoid. Often when people talk about faith and values in the public square, it quickly goes to "Christians shouldn't legislate their morality on the rest of us." The fact is government can't help but legislate morality---which leads us to the question....which morality should we legislate.

For as Michael Bauman explains, “All laws, whether prescriptive or prohibitive, legislate morality. All laws, regardless of their content or their intent, arise from a system of values, from a belief that some things are right and others wrong, that some things are good and others bad, that some things are better and worse. In the formulation and enforcement of law, the question is never whether or not morality will be legislated but which one.” (for more on this, see his chapter in To Everyone An Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview ).

The above article didn't include the moral reasoning behind this decision. Should we do it because everyone (at least right now and around this table) agrees that it is wrong or because there is something intrinsically and inherently harmful here (if the latter how do we know this?)? A very different question indeed.

Issues like this help remove the myth that "we shouldn't legislate our morality on others." How we go about choosing which ones is a much better conversation to have. Now obviously everything shouldn't be legislated against, but it is unavoidable that many things will be for the good and flourishing of a society.

Post Script: Porn is addictive and dangerous for individuals and societies--Here is one person's journey Porn Nation: Conquering America's #1 Addiction. Most people are unaware that Pornography and sex-related sites make up nearly 60 percent of daily web traffic.

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